Behavioral Analysis Unit

Behavioral Analysis Unit

Q: What is the history of the BAU?

1974: The Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) is created to investigate serial rape and homicide cases.  There were originally eleven agents and it was a part of the Training Division.

1984: The Behavioral Science Unit split into the Behavioral Science Unit and the Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit.  The Behavioral Science Unit became primarily responsible for the training of FBI National Academy students in the variety of specialized topics concerning the behavior and social sciences, and the Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit became primarily responsible for the investigation of criminals.

1994: The Critical Incident Response Group integrated the FBI’s crisis management, behavioral, and tactical resources within one entity.   The name changed again to the Investigative Support Unit.

1997: The program then evolved into the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

The Terrorist Attacks of 2001
Created a need to restructure–wanted to make sure the government is accurately prepared to handle new threats to the nation

2001: The Behavioral Analysis Unit is divided into three units.

Q: What is the mission of the BAU?

The mission of the Behavioral Analysis Units (BAU) is to provide operational support for complex and time-sensitive cases and other matters through the application of investigative case experience, education, specialized training, and research. Each unit has distinct responsibilities:

Behavioral Analysis Unit 1 (counterterrorism and threat assessment): Resources are focused on matters involving terrorism, threats, arson, bombings, stalking, cyber-related violations, and anticipated or active crisis situations.

Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 (crimes against adults): Resources are primarily focused on serial, spree, mass, and other murders; sexual assaults; kidnappings; missing person cases; and other violent crimes targeting adult victims. BAU 2 also provides assistance in potentially non-violent investigations, such as white-collar crime, public corruption, organized crime, and civil rights matters.

Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 (crimes against children): Resources are focused on crimes perpetrated against child victims, including abductions, mysterious disappearances of children, homicides, and sexual victimization.

Q: What are some services provided by the BAU?

Services provided by the behavioral analysis units include:

  • Crime analysis;
  • Profiles of unknown offenders;
  • Linkage analysis;
  • Investigative suggestions;
  • Threat assessment;
  • Interview strategies;
  • Media strategies;
  • Search warrant affidavit assistance;
  • Prosecution and trial strategies;
  • Expert testimony;
  • Critical incident analysis; and
  • Geographic profiling (provided through an agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives).


Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2010). Investigations and operations support. Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2010). Investigative programs: Critical incident response group. Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2006). Profile of a partnership: A key role of behavioral analyst. Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2008). The FBI: A centennial history, 1908-2008. Retrieved from

Holden, H. M. (2008). FBI 100 years: An unofficial history. Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company.

Winerman, L. (2004). Criminal profiling: The reality behind the myth. Monitor, 35(7). Retrieved from

Presented by: Ashley DuVal

61 Responses to “Behavioral Analysis Unit”

  1. Brittany Moran says:

    I obviously see that this is an old site, but I just wanted to know if I’m on track. I want to go to college in California and study criminology, psychology, and forensic psychology, am I missing anything? I’m sure I need to take criminal justice as well? Someone get back to me ASAP. Thanks so much, email me with info at that’s how I’ll reply quickest.

  2. Bekah says:

    BAU FBI Profiler
    You start off with the cases that are most important.Like if you have a case that has so far three murdered victims all the same way, you would take this case over a case like:Only 1 man killed from murder of drowning.You always take the case that us most important.You also always have to be a team.Your leader would either send you with someone or alone to get check something out.If you have to talk to someone who is related to the victim r the killer you try to start off easy like:Like when was the last time you saw him/her?, or have you been in contact lately? If you visit the crime scene you try to look for unusual things like if she/he is sexual assaulted, or if she/he try to fight back. You look for struggle and the scene around it. If it is a victim who got stabbed and pushed into a tree.You look around at your surroundings and figure out why she/he is stabbed in the woods.If there had been more than 1 similar murders around or at the same place you have to figure out fast why this place? It could be a memory to the suspect, or similar to the suspect, or he/she might not even care and just dump them there but might live close by.Also the BAU FBI Profiler travel a lot so you would have to be willing to leave family behind.Also if you have a big dangerous case you can put your family at risk.The killer could go for you or your family, or you and your family.Also if you have kids it would be hard for the kids because they wouldn’t be able to see you that much. To have a good profile on someone you have to think like the killer and be more positive than negative. You also have to put your life in danger for other people. So you have to be brave to get stabbed, shot, blown up, extra… If you are in the BAU FBI you have to work the most important cases. To become part f a group for the BAU FBI you have to be an agent for a while then you can step up. Actually the more you learned/learn the quicker you can become a BAU agent. When you seek a killer you have to look foe suspiciousness also the attitude, see the signature. There has to be sow reason why the suspect is killing. When you get to help out other officers you have to give them a profiler of the killer when your ready. That can help you and them catch the killer. Some killers have the suspense to get revenge on the person who put them away so be careful on dangerous cases. Some killers just torches one family member to torcher the rest. The suspect will kill the family member in front of the family just to see terror and the expressions. Being a BAU FBI Profiler can be dangerous. By the way this s Bekah and I’m only 11 years old.

  3. sadiyah says:

    Is there anything equivalent to this in the the UK

  4. alejandro carrada says:

    I am really hoping on having a full time carrier as a special agent in the BAU. I would like to know how i could get involved to have a better understanding of the FBI and ways that could help have a better way to obtain a place in the Academy at Quantico, Virginia. I would really love and have grate gratitude if this program or organization would help me.

  5. Cristian Torres says:

    Hey, I’m interested in joining the BAU Unit 2. My friend pointed out to my that I’m very good at profiling, and I am. I enjoy profiling and unlocking mysteries. If there’s a program for minors that involve any of this, it would be nice to know. I’m a sophomore at high school so I have bit of time left and I am considering this as one of the careers that are available to me.

  6. Cristian Torres says:

    Hey, I’m interested in joining the BAU Unit 2. My friend pointed out to my that I’m very good at profiling, and I am. I enjoy profiling and unlocking mysteries. If there’s a program for minors that involve any of this, it would be nice to know. I’m a sophomore at high school so I have bit of time left and I am considering this as one of the careers that are available to me

  7. Lindsey says:

    Im 16 years old I have always wondered tbe way the mind works and im gonna do everything in my power to get where I need to go to be apart of the Behavioral Analysis Unit whatever it may be I just hope that I’ll have the chance to do what you guys do every single day and be apart of something bigger than just one person

  8. haley says:

    Hi my name is haley and ever since I watched criminal minds and ncis la the thing i wanna be when older is a analyst i know its different from real life but i wanna get it a try

  9. This website has given me so much insight on the BAU’s history. I am only 14 and I have wanted to work for the FBI for about 6 years I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for the FBI. but now I do the BAU is where I belong. yes criminal minds has told me so much about the BAU but it is a very hard thing to do. it is very hard to have a family you have to be available 24/7. its a very risky job but im up for the challenge and the scum off of the streets. and figure out why and how could someone do that to a person.

  10. Maleah says:

    I love and watch Criminal Minds, profiling is the one thing I would love to do. I am so young, I have textbooks, notes absolutely everything I need to be in the BAU. I cannot wait to join, putting away these people for the country makes up for everything I have done bad. If Criminal Minds had taught me one thing it would be that there are people who do bad things and other people who do bad things to accomplish the good.

  11. Nina says:

    Hi I’m NINA 14 years old I also watch criminal minds & know there not the same as what F.B.I B.A.U rdo & I wanna join the navy or marines for a few years then join the B.A.U is that good to do but my more important questions are what college par pare you for this job , & for how many years would it be also I would like to know are there programs you can join to get a feel of what the B.A.U is ,

  12. Katrina Irene says:

    Since I was five i’ve vowed to myself that i would join the B.A.U and today i am 14. I do watch Criminal Minds and I know that in the real world it’s highly unlikely to be like that. I also know the measures it takes to become a federal agent seeing as i’ve grown up beside law enforcement my entire life. I’d just like to know what my chances are.

  13. Dazhane says:

    Hi, I have like a lot of other people who comment watched the show Criminal Minds. I have watched EVERY single episode and is interested in becoming apart of the FBI BAU as my occupation. I am only 15 and i know that being in the BAU isn’t exactly like criminal minds but it is something i always wanted to do since the age of 11. I just wanted to know what i would have to do to become one. Like any specific schools or classes i should look into.

  14. im interested in joining the B.A.U im 14 and very intelligent i love to learn and profile people. so why not get a job in it. further more enjoy solving things and just being able to make a difference

  15. Jennifer Cardenas says:

    You guys are not thinking right if youre saying you want to be a part of the BAU because of Criminal Minds. That show is not that alike with the real BAU. If you like that show then you should consider being a detective or a police officer.

  16. Kiah says:

    I really want to be apart of the B.A.U when I grow up! I wanted to since I was 11 and now I’m 13 and I know to be apart of the B.A.U I have to get good grades and work hard to get into college and train. I hope in the future I will be able to join!

  17. Riley M. says:

    Hey, I would like to join the Behavioral Analysis Unit 3. I wanted to know what education I need to be a part of that. Thank you.

  18. Vanni says:

    I watch criminal minds and from there i knew this was my calling… I want / need to be apart of the BAU I’m currently 17 and go to high school. I need to know what i should do to become it

  19. Jade says:

    I have watched Criminal Minds, like most of the people who have commented. I was wondering what classes I should take if I want to work in the B.A.U. I am currently 15, I go to Sheboygan North High School. If you know of anything that would help me have a better chance of becoming this, please let me know.

  20. Shelby Lynn says:

    I want to be i the bau i think its very interesting i watch criminal minds.i want to take classes when I’m older to know what to take.

  21. Shady says:

    I watch Criminal Minds and are obsessed with it. I am only 13 and hope to have a career in the BAU. If you have any recommendatis on what ssubject’s to study and work experienc I sshould take on. I am really keen on my future career and your advice would be soooo helpful!!

  22. Ashlyn Reed says:

    I was wondering if there is anything for teens.

  23. carolyn zimmerman says:

    hi i wanted to be in the BAU i love helping ppl an reading ppl but i was wondering wat i need to major in to become part of the BAU any information would be helpful
    thank you

  24. annah martin says:

    i am fourteen years old and want to learn psychology and behavioral anaylistics and sciences. i was wondering if there are any programs for teenagers who are interusted in theese kid of things? if i could get a confromation from you to what i can do now as a freshman in highschool to start studying this topic i would really appriceate it.
    thank you very much.

  25. Ahyanne Howard says:

    I’m very interested in becoming a part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit in the future and I’m curious as to what is required to become apart of it. What college courses do I need? How do I enter into the program? What are some good colleges to attend for this type of work field? Are there any programs/camps I can get involved in that pertain to this field of work? Thanks

  26. Joel Torija says:

    Hi, my name is Joel Torija, I’m 14 years old and I really want to Be in the Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 & 3. I’m in a Magnet school just for International Law and Criminal Justice Academy, so I getting an early start on get into the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

  27. Where says:

    Why is America great? Because of slavery, exploitation and mean politics.

  28. Frida Garnica says:

    Hello, my name is Frida Garnica, I just graduated high school June 9, 2013 and I have had my mind set on working for the BAU’s 3rd unit. I was raped twice and that’s what got me to wanting to stop other pedophiles from doing that to other poor children. If anyone can email me information or a website where I can look more into what classes I should take for college. My email is,
    Thank you.

  29. Kelsey Pierson says:

    I am only 13 yrs old and i so badly want to join the BAU. I watch Criminal Minds and Im obsessed with the show. I am planning on having a career in the BAU. It made me want to be a part of the BAU. But i was curious as of what high school and college classes i would have to takeas well as what I would have to do to join when im older. Thank you!

  30. carla says:

    what do you need to major in to become apart of the behavioral science unit

  31. Sarah F. says:

    I was just wondering what are good colleges to look into for becoming a B.A.U. Special Agent. I was also wondering what type of courses should I be thinking about. If you have any information it would be greatly appreciated.

  32. Robert O says:

    I am currently looking to find out more on how i can pursue a career with the FBI’s B.A.U. If anyone is able to help me on this quest it would be truly appreciated. I just want to help the cause and i think i am well rounded enough to use the skills necessary for the job, which i would take a number of but ultimately have it narrowed down. Thank you.

  33. Reyhaneh says:

    I am studying chemical engineering bachelor but I decide to change my field to psychology master next year. I hope to apply behavior analysis in US and get job in BAU. Is it possibl for foreign person?

  34. David George says:

    Dear sirs.
    Bluntly, I’ve killed a lot of people. I’ve killed a lot of children and I’d like to quit doing that. I know I know, you’re thinking, just stop doing it if you dont like to do it. Uh… it’s more complicated than that.
    Hey, I’m sick of killing kids, most people probably want me to stop killing kids, hey lets stop the raping and slaughter of kids for fun and profit. Please?
    Soooo if you’d like to stop the killing, take down a serial killer (please?), and be a hero go to my old website builder at yola and use the edit website comand.
    Feel free to use my password and old e-mail address, they’re and zugzug. Use the preview command to look at any print too small to read.
    Wont someone stop the killing? For the children? Please? HELP! PLEASE HELP!

  35. L Clark says:

    I am currently a Freshman in college and am wanting a job in behavioral analysis in the FBI. According to this site I would like to be apart of unit 2. I am wondering what major(s) I need or should take to best prepare me for this job. Please email me to let me know.

  36. Sophie says:

    I have always wanted to be in the FBI and in the Bau since I have started watching criminal minds.I love it and I hope to be a behavioral analysis unit one day .

  37. Gabrielle says:

    One day I was sitting on my bed and I was thinking about what I wanted to when I got out of college. While I was sitting their thinking this Television show came on and it was called criminal minds. So I had never seen this before and I just sat there and watched it for a minute and I knew that what I wanted to do. I would like to know what I would need to take in college to be in the BAU. I’m still in high school I am a junior and i really would like to know the qualifications and things I would need to do.

  38. Naimah says:

    Hey… I soo badly wana join the BAU… Even though i am still young i would love to know how you are allowed to join. Peoples behaviour intregues me and i would love to know more on how i could become part of the BAU

  39. I am a profiler within the FBI and it is the BEST job.

  40. I created the FBI Junior , and it started by watching criminal minds.

  41. sam quattlebaum says:

    hi i have wanted to join the bau of the fbi since i have watched Criminal minds im only 14 but obsessed i plan on joining the military then retire then join the bau but i wanna know how to do it email me to tell me please

    thank you,

  42. kylee says:

    Hello, i am very interested in becoming part of the FBI and BAU, it first started out by watching Criminal Minds, It is my life goal to join the FBI and BAU someday i don’t have any relatives in the family to ask about this so i thought id write too you i do have some cops in the family but i don’t think they would be much help i am starting college and i am gonna start by taking my speech class and accounting also i am really interested in computer science please get back to me on my email i really hope to persue this dream someday i am very interested in the BAU.

    Sincerely, Kylee Byrd.

  43. megan says:

    hey im about to sit my gcse’s i wanted to know what courses or subjects i should take at university and what degrees and stuff i need to allow me to join the bau and become a behavoural ananlysist. let me know thanks

  44. charlie says:

    I am currently studying social science at college but am very detemined to join the BAU eventually, what courses at university would help me get to this stage? i have currently been looking in to psychology and criminology or forensic science combined would these course be a good place to start?
    Thank you

  45. caron mitchell says:

    Have M.A. Criminology and Psychology with emphasis in family and marriage couseling but my interests is criminal profilng and investigations. Can you send me informations. Thanks

  46. Shannon says:


    I’m currently a doctoral student in clinical social work, and am working full-time as a level 2 behavior analyst for a nonprofit in the Chicago area (level 2 in IL is a measure of Dept. of Human Services practical and billing allowances). My university is implementing an ABA program beginning this fall, and I’m strongly considering taking the 5 courses I need to complement my current credentials and allow me eligibility for the BCBA exam.

    In addition to the above, I am currently an adjunct instructor in my university’s school of social work, and due to the focus of my dissertation interests, I am instructing multiple courses addressing macro/systemic and psychopathological (individual perpetrator) violence (these courses overlap with the school of criminal justice and are electives in each).

    Since I was very young, I’ve wished to work in forensic behavioral sciences at the highest possible level of intervention (consistently preferring the FBI, because of its applicability to my interests and skill set). My uncle recently returned to Illinois from training at the FBI Academy (per requirement of the police department where he was promoted to Chief of Police), and he has encouraged me to seek information and pursue the FBI’s BAU.

    I am interested in learning more about this potential career path, and because I’m in a position allowing me multiple options in my doctoral and post-masters certification/post-doctoral research development, I would like to know specifically what academic requirements exist for BAU candidacy, as well as other relevant information (applicant age limits, etc.; I’m currently 30 years old).

    Assuming this is the appropriate forum for this question, please offer any information via email to the address indicated above.

    I sincerely thank you, in advance, for your time and assistance.


  47. Justine says:

    I was just wondering what are good colleges to look into for becoming a B.A.U. Special Agent. I was also wondering what type of courses should I be thinking about. If you have any information it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

  48. Karilyn says:

    I’m a Criminal Justice student, my teachers are retired officers, and the director is presently a federal agent. The advise I can tell to those that want to pursue BAU, is you have to take minors and mayors in science, psycology, sociology, psychiatry… You have to develop from hi school a good ear, and be patient. Watch, observe… You never knw what you could be missing for not keeping silence…

  49. gloria says:

    hey right now i am a freshman in high school, i have been watching criminal minds for a long time, since i was in 7 grade i have always wantd to be in the BAU. i have found interesting, i would like to know what high school and college classes i need to take…thank you for your time

  50. This is so interesting !
    I first show it on Criminal Minds and i loved it !
    It’s like you can read people , you know people .
    Someday , i wish i can become a part of that .

  51. Leanna Kodak says:

    omg it is my dream to work for the behavioral analysis unit but what classes should I take and what major in college

  52. Kenzie Paul says:

    I am very interested in what high school and college classes i need to take in order to get into the BAU? I’ve done some searching and talking to college advisors but they dont give me what i need they try and get me in other classes. So I really need to know exactly what classes to take.

  53. Julia says:

    what high school classesd do i needed to take to become a agent at the BAU?

  54. Angela Ortiz says:

    Is crimial minds really what happens in the BAU because I always watch it and i can’t stop and i want to be in the BAU when I grow up so what subjects do I need to study to be included in the BAU.

  55. kaitlyn kennedy says:

    I am currently a freshman in high school and I have an interest in being apart of the BAU crimes against adults I would like to know what classes I would have to take in high school and college.

  56. MARIA MENDOZA says:

    if the FBI and BAU are the same thing then why do we need separate classes on them? cant we just be in the same

  57. Destiny says:

    i was wondering what high school and college classes would i need to take to be on the right track to the BAU.

  58. Ashley Davis says:

    i Was wondering what courses as well should you take to become a part of the BAU and also are there colleges that specialize in FBI courses if that makes sense? i’m a freshman in high school and i have decided i wanted to be in the BAU and i wanted to learn more about it othere than spending half my day watching criminal minds:) so please answere this question it will help alot!

  59. Zach France says:

    Lauren and Courtney,
    You both are on track. I am currently in college studing aviation and criminal justice.
    Depending on exactly what you want to do in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. I would suggest that you also take Psychology.


  60. Courtney Larrabee says:

    Your on the right track. Those are very noble areas of work. I am a senior in high school and i as well would like to become part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit when i graduate. My advice for you is do not lose focus. Stay on this path. If your school has these courses i would recommend that you take them:
    – CSI
    -Law Enforcement
    -American History

    I would also recommend that you take a sociology/psychology class. Do some hard research on the BAU its not a field for every. I wish you good luck!


  61. Lauren Cromie says:

    I am currently a sophmore in high school and am in AFJROTC, or Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. I plan on attending college prior to enrolling in the Air Force. My goal is to be a special forces officer. This field includes people in the FBI, CIA, and other national security organizations. I want to become part of the BAU through the Air Force. What college courses are required for employment by the BAU? Are there courses that would aid in the career? Finally, are the programs for minors to get a feel of the BAU and its services? Thanks!
    Lauren Cromie